Michael Shellenberger, Environmental Progress: An all-star group of energy and climate scholars published a scientific article in a prestigious journal pointing out that a Stanford professor’s proposal for powering the United States entirely on renewable energy sources rests upon a gigantic lie. Over the last several years, Al Gore, Leonardo DiCaprio and Mark Ruffalo and many politicians have pointed to Stanford scientist Mark Jacobson’s modeling as proof that we can quickly and cheaply transition to 100 percent renewables. What is the lie? That we can increase the amount of power from U.S. hydroelectric dams ten-fold. According to the U.S. Department of Energy and all major studies, the real potential increase is just one percent of that.
Robert Hargraves, founder of ThorCon International, developing liquid fission power to generate electricity cheaper than coal, to power up the developing world: Westinghouse's bankruptcy culminates the collapse of potential US strategic leadership in world nuclear energy. The US has faltered in many aspects of nuclear technology, now allowing other nations to become the world leaders in nuclear and energy diplomacy. More important even than its 8% share of world GDP, energy is the master resource, enabling industry, agriculture, and services worldwide.
This is The American Nuclear Society's report on Nine Grand Challenges by 2030. Hopefully, they will make a lot of progress. The progress so far has been insufficient to maintain a healthy nuclear industry.
The American Nuclear Society has announced that it will focus on Nine Grand Challenges by 2030. It is time that they commit to greater focus on these broad challenges and resolve them. Major expansion of nuclear power desperately needs them resolved.
Sidney Bernsen, Ph.D., Former Chief Nuclear Engineer for Bechtel Power Corporation: I read the presentation Ted Rockwell gave at the 33 Annual WNA Conference in London and commend him for a clear and rational argument for promoting Nuclear Power as the preeminent solution to our energy future - not CO2 sequestration, not Solar, not windmills. However, as has been the case time and time again we keep finding ways to shoot ourselves in the foot whenever great opportunities emerge. There clearly is a high risk that the unreasonably high projected costs of current nuclear power plant designs could prevent them from obtaining the financing needed to license and build them. While most successful industries continue to provide products at continually reduced cost or products with significantly more useful features at similar costs, the nuclear power industry is moving in reverse.
James Conca, Geochemist: New reactor designs are pretty advanced and ready to be rolled out. Whether they’re variations on the traditional light-water reactor (NuScale), new molten salt designs (IMSR), air-cooled, liquid metal, or advanced fast-reactors that burn everything from spent fuel from old reactors to Iraqi tank armor (TerraPower; General Atomics), SMRs like the Xe-100 build on the successful experience of previous designs and the redundant safety systems developed over the last 60 years.
Rod Adams, Atomic energy expert with small nuclear plant operating and design experience. Financial, strategic, and political analyst. It’s time to move from repeated bipartisan efforts to permanently kill the FFTF, Fast Flux Test Facility, to a broad-based effort to recognize value and restore the facility that our parents built and carefully put away in case we might need it.
James Conca, Geochemist: We used to think about Peak Oil like this – the reserves are finite, we know where they are and how long they will last, and we will start running out soon. But with recent technological innovations, we keep finding new oil deposits that are now recoverable and a peak won’t happen for a century or more.
James Conca, Geochemist: Today’s energy markets are characterized by low natural gas prices, heavily subsidized renewable generation and low growth in electricity demand. American vendors also compete in the international markets for the deployment of Small Modular Reactors, SMRs, and other advanced nuclear reactor designs. Unfortunately, most countries like Russia and China directly subsidize their nation’s nuclear technologies in order to penetrate global markets.
Clinton Crackel, Emergency Management Specialist, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Co-Founder Nuclear Fuels Reprocessing Coalition: The Fischer-Tropsch process was developed in Germany in 1925 as means to convert coal into synthetic fuel for use in motorized vehicles. In 2012, Princeton University published an article stating researchers found the United States could eliminate the need for crude oil by substituting it with synthetic fuels. At least we could eliminate our dependence on foreign oil. This could put our coal miners back to work doing what they do best, without relocation. Environmental controls could be put in place. The burdens of having our military in some endless wars around the world could be reduced.